The Gardner City Council met Aug. 17 in a special meeting to review the 2018 budget. All members were present except Lee Moore.
This year is the city’s 5th priority-based budget, which uses a “results based” planning process. The process relies on goals prioritized by the council, and it includes evaluating results and making needed adjustments.
As Priority-Based Budgeting is a cyclical planning tool, each year’s initiatives are built upon the plans and/or achievements of previous years in a cycle of continuous improvement. Below is a brief review of the 5-year process/initiatives that moved Gardner from a vision to the transformation in progress today, which was strategically planned and achieved by the teamwork of the Governing Body and its workforce.
At the beginning of the 5-year period, best practices were implemented to strategically prepare for growth. The first to be implemented was Priority-Based Budgeting. The first step in Priority-Based Budgeting was for the Governing Body to identify long-term, strategic goals to guide its vision and funding decisions. The four strategic goals are:

• Promote Economic Development
• Improve Infrastructure and Asset Management
• Improve Quality of Life
• Improve Fiscal Stewardship
Each year, short-term initiatives are developed to support the long-term goals. Completion of
initiatives are the “accountability metric” for results.